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`Perfect storm’ coming in 85 years

A “perfect storm” could see sea levels surge by six meters and flood the Cross-Harbour Tunnel by the end of the century.

Hong Kong-based World Green Organisation made the claim yesterday and said this situation would cripple the SAR’s infrastructure.

While Hong Kong has been able to dodge most super typhoons in recent years, rising sea levels, high tides with heavy rain and storm surges make for a perfect storm.

“We have constructed a perfect storm scenario, which is possible by the end of the century,” said WGO chief executive William Yu Yuen-ping.

Their prediction is based on the fifth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations-backed international organization for climate change assessment.

“As the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has almost reached a level that makes the temperature increase by two degrees, this climate change may lead to extreme weather around the world,” Yu said.

Using Tai Po Kau as an example, if a storm similar to 2013’s Typhoon Usagi hit Hong Kong at the end of the century, the sea level will rise six meters, flooding the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.

If there is a storm similar to Typhoon Haiyan which killed 6,000 people in the Philippines in 2013 sea levels could rise by eight meters.

This would exceed the drainage capacity of infrastructure such as gasworks and power plants. Fifteen percent of Hong Kong is considered lowland area. This includes Sheung Wan, Tai O and Sai Kung. These places will be more prone to flooding in the future, Yu said.

He said according to Hong Kong Observatory data, Typhoon Hagupit in 2008 caused sea levels to rise 3.53 meters at Victoria Harbour a situation that occurs once in 50 years.

However, this may drop to once in five years during the middle of this century and even every year at the end of the century.

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